No one likes the thought of growing older, but it’s a natural part of life. Fortunately, as more and more of us are living longer, there are also more gadgets and technologies than ever to help us with the aging process. Many of these can have a truly transformational effect on day-to-day life, making it so seniors can go about their lives as they always have done. Here are 9 must-have pieces of technologies for as you grow older.
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Voice Recognition Technologies
Problems with vision are an increasingly common issue among the elderly, with a large number of age-related eye diseases out there that can impair your sight. It can thus be difficult to use technologies such as smartphones, computers, and tablets to connect with your loved ones, ask questions, or access media. Additionally, many newer gadgets have highly complex interfaces, meaning they can be difficult to traverse unless you have grown up with them.
Luckily, the development of voice-recognition home gadgets has made it much easier for seniors to use their gadgets in these respects if they have sight issues, or are not too confident with the latest technologies. These items, like the Amazon Echo, are linked to your other smart devices. With them, you can easily use voice instructions to call someone, play music, or search the internet.
Digital Hearing Aids
Even more common than vision issues in the elderly is age-related hearing loss, which is thought to affect roughly half of all adults over 70 years old. And while not as debilitating as vision loss, diminished hearing can be highly distressing, especially in social situations. Luckily, another area where technologies has advanced massively in the last decade is with respect to hearing aids.
Whereas the initial hearing aid designs were clunky, suffered from severe distortion effects, and were unreliable in noisy environments, modern hearing aids have corrected many of these issues. As a result, the best hearing aids today are virtually invisible and do not suffer from feedback or whistling noises at high volumes. Many also now have specialized microphones which enable them to amplify the specific noises you need them to in crowded or louder places.
Virtual Healthcare Services
Over the last 2 years, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become increasingly hard for non-coronavirus patients to receive face-to-face consultations from physicians. This is particularly true of the elderly, who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 and may also suffer from mobility issues.
Fortunately, technology has also come to the rescue here, in the form of digital healthcare platforms. These can be used to get direct face time with physicians from the comfort of your home. Many of these platforms now exist, offering several different services, including for counseling, consultations, and the management of specific diseases, such as diabetes. Digital pharmacies now also exist for you to easily refill prescriptions and have them delivered directly to you. These services are a big help if you live far from your physician, are struggling to book an appointment due to COVID, or have issues with mobility.
Keeping track of your health becomes increasingly important as you grow older, and the progression of technology has made this easier than ever. Smartwatches, in particular, are an especially effective way of doing so. With just a little set-up, you can use them to monitor a number of vitals, including your heart rate, stress, and your daily number of footsteps. They can also track the length and quality of your sleep. This is a big plus for seniors, a big percentage of whom have issues sleeping.
House safety can be a major topic of worry for seniors and their loved ones alike. A high-tech alarm system can there be a great way to ease your peace of mind. These modern systems come with a variety of great features. These include doorbell cameras, which enable you to check who is outside your house without having to get up, alert systems for the detection of unexpected slips and falls, and the detection of carbon monoxide leaks.
Frustratingly, the recent advancements made in technology have also led to the rise of scammers who aim to take advantage of the technology to defraud people of money. These scams normally conducted either via telephone or e-mail. Many of these scammers also specifically target seniors because they generally have less experience with modern technology. In fact, it is estimated that scammers steal around $3 billion from seniors every year.
If you are worried about you or a loved one falling victim to fraudsters, you can now purchase a variety of products that can massively increase your protection from them. For example, call blockers are now available for landlines which automatically screen your phone calls, preventing malicious scammers from being able to contact you directly. Similarly, pieces of software to detect fraudulent e-mails and scam links are now readily available for most computers.
Short-term memory is also something that typically worsens with age, and even the best of us can often forget where we put our valuables! The development of trackers for valuables is therefore a great help if you find that you are often forgetting where you’ve put your keys, phone, or other valuables. These gadgets use Bluetooth technology to accurately detect where you’ve left your items. The best valuables trackers also have a range of up to 400 meters and a battery life of around 3 years.
Robotic Vacuum Cleaners
If you find you are beginning to struggle with your mobility as you grow older, you may notice that everyday jobs have become much more difficult to complete. Vacuuming is a typical example of this, as it can be tricky as you age to move heavy equipment up and down the house. Robotic vacuums can thus be a great way to help with this task while retaining your independence. They can also be especially helpful for impacted dirt and pet hair, which traditional vacuum cleaners struggle with.